Dealing With Overhead Power Lines

Mosman Park & Scarborough.

The builder built a 2 storey home on a corner block in Mosman Park.

On both street frontages there were overhead power lines on the boundary lines. The house was 6m from the front boundary & 2.8m from the side boundary.

The local shire & power authority approved the plans advising the clearance from the power lines was acceptable and required no special permits or other costs.

During construction scaffold was erected to build the upper floor, this prompted the builder to question the set backs from the power lines. After a review the local power authority advised the upper floor & scaffold were too close to the power lines and a minor redesign was needed as well as special supervision for any work on the upper floor scaffold.

The cost for this was over $40,000 and caused delays to the construction.

A similar example in Scarborough.

Another builder received approval to build 3 units with the front unit set back the minimum 3m from the boundary.

Shortly after the scaffold was erected, it was realised it encroached into the overhead power line exclusion zone. The work was stopped and the scaffold had to be removed immediately.

Most of the upper floor walls had been partially built but not completed.

The only options were to

  1. demolish the upper floor and redesign the home to allow for the width of scaffold. This involved a rebuild of half the house at a cost of approximately $200k or
  2. remove the street power pole and lay underground power across the frontage of the lot at a cost of approx. $150k.

The builder choose to pay for the removal of the power pole and laying of underground power.

The project was delayed by nearly 6 months which added further to the out of pocket cost for the power lines of $150,000.

Warning - Overhead power line issues are relatively common and it can be difficult to get the correct advice.

By using the Jjack Building system, buildings can be constructed well away from overhead power lines (at ground level) without scaffold, cranes and hoists. Then lifted into position.

This allows maximum use of the lot by building to the set backs instead of having to allow room for the scaffold between the exclusion zone and the house. Having to allow room for scaffold results in a loss of house area and value, OR even worse having to pay tens of thousands of dollars to work within the exclusion zone, shift infrastructure or even worse see injuries occur.

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